News Date: Thursday 21st June 2007
Tim goes fishing for rail improvements
East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton joined the campaign group Transport 2000 and actress Jenny Agutter to call on the Government to tackle rail overcrowding and improve and expand services for passengers through its upcoming 30-year rail strategy.
With over a billion people taking train journeys every year, rail overcrowding has become the number 1 passenger concern. The situation is set to get worse as the Government's own figures forecast a 30% growth in rail passenger miles by 2016.
"Passengers, and especially commuters who travel during rush hour, can experience terrible overcrowding and often feel like they are sardines in a tin-can.
"If the UK is to meet its international obligations on climate change then rail needs to be at the heart of a green transport strategy. The Government is failing to tackle overcrowding on railways and needs to make decisions on capacity enhancing projects quickly to avoid people turning away from the railways."
Jenny Agutter, star of the Railway Children and Transport 2000's patron, is encouraging other MPs to follow Tim's lead and commented:
"Rail use by passengers and for freight is having a real renaissance and is at its highest level since the 1950s, and still rising. This is great news - but the rail network and number of services has not expanded to keep up with demand. The Government will be issuing a rail strategy this summer which must place growing the railways at its heart"
Note to Editor:
1) Transport 2000 is an independent campaigning and research body that represents the key transport interests of around 40 environmental groups, transport organisations and transport unions. They bring together people who seek to reduce the environmental and social effects of transport through encouraging less use of cars, lorries and planes and more use of rail, buses, trams, cycling and walking. For more information please visit www.transport2000.org.uk